A look back on Water for Food Global Conference - Lincoln, Nebraska

    “Water and food are two of the most important priorities of tomorrow’s world” said Loïc Fauchon, president of the World Water Council. “We must stop ignoring that water is food.”

    Fauchon was one of more than 120 global speakers and 400 participants who gathered at the 10th Water for Food Global Conference to discuss innovative ways to improve water and food security by increasing farmers’ resiliency to a changing landscape. The conference was produced by the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska (DWFI) and held May 8-11 in Lincoln, Neb. The 2023 conference was a partner event for the 10th World Water Forum, the world’s largest water-related forum.

    “It was inspiring to see such an engaged group of people from more than 27 different countries working toward the same goal, sharing new and different perspectives and so enthusiastic about future collaborations,” said Peter G. McCornick, DWFI executive director.

    The four-day conference, situated in the middle of a living laboratory and atop the vast Great Plains Aquifer, provided a platform to explore win-win scenarios to support improved water use in agriculture and increase productivity at a variety of scales – from smallholders, collectives and coops to commercial farm operations – while preserving water resources for other human and environmental needs.

    Themed, “Cultivating Innovation: Solutions for a Changing World,” the conference focused on the next generation of research, smart technology, policy development and best practices that are achieving breakthroughs in this vitally important mission. Those from academia, government agencies, policymaking groups, nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, entrepreneurs, water managers, growers, students and private industry came to engage at more than 35 sessions provided.

    Sessions covered a wide range of important topics, including supporting, financing and scaling smallholder irrigation; drought, water and human health; setting corporate water targets; innovations in irrigation technology; the circular bioeconomy; sustainable crop intensification strengthening drought risk management; and land and soil management; as well as how we continue to frame the conversation surrounding water and food at future high-level, international meetings.

    All conference sessions were recorded and will be available to view on the institute’s YouTube Channel in the coming months. 
    More information can be found on the conference website.